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Formerly Forbidden Food Helps With Weight Loss

Contributed by: NAPSA

The Peanut Butter Diet
(NAPSA) - It may sound unbelievable, but peanut butter can actually help with weight loss-even though this favorite, higher-fat food was once "forbidden" among dieters.

Few "diet foods" are as full of flavor, heart-healthy fat and comfort as peanut butter. Even fewer "popular diets" allow such a satisfying food and show evidence of long-term weight loss.

A Harvard study compared a "moderate-fat diet" using peanut butter and other sources of "good" unsaturated fat to a low-fat diet. Almost three times as many people on the moderate-fat diet stuck with it and many were able to keep the weight off for over two years. The low-fat diet was less satisfying and unrealistic for the long-term.

Americans gain about one pound annually, which contributes to obesity and diabetes. Harvard research shows that eating one tablespoon of peanut butter at least five times a week is associated with a 21 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A Penn State study showed substituting small portions of peanut butter and peanuts for other high-fat foods reduced heart disease risk by 21 percent, whereas the low-fat diet reduced risk by only 12 percent.

Preliminary research also shows that people with inflammation, an emerging risk factor for several chronic diseases, may not benefit from a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet-further suggesting a low-fat diet may not be for everyone.

The Peanut Butter Diet is a moderate-fat diet (35 percent calories from fat), full of "good" unsaturated fat. About half the fat comes from peanut butter, which provides key nutrients like protein and fiber that contribute to satiety.

The Peanut Butter Diet is not a typical "fad diet." The daily meal plans are calorie-restricted (about 1500 calories for women, 2200 for men) and full of fiber. They include four tablespoons of peanut butter for women, six for men; nine servings of fruits and vegetables; three to seven servings of whole grains; four to eight ounces of lean meat; and two servings of lower-fat dairy products. Substitution and portion control are pivotal to success.

Creamy or crunchy, natural or commercial-all types of peanut butter can list "zero" grams of trans fat on the label, according to a USDA study. In addition, all types of peanut butter provide many nutrients such as protein, fiber, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and resveratrol, the same phytochemical found in red wine.


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